Since my wife and I have been involved with Livin Lattes we have been exposed to the real devastation of broken relationships and marriages.  When a man and women divorce they are "breaking the covenant" they made when they vowed to love each other for life.  Technically you can not break a covenant because covenant means, "oath bound promise"  A promise means forever.  If you break a promise you can not do so without repercussions or consequences.

I have observed pain in the hearts of today's teenagers who seek to fix their pain by reaching to a boy or girl in hopes they can find solace and peace in a person.  In my opinion, the greatest tragedy in divorce is the brokenness that lays dormant in the heart of the children involved in the sad tale.  You want to have a better relationship then your parents so you reach out romantically for the first person you feel something for and vow to make it work.  But in most cases, these kinds of relationships fall apart due to a lack of experience and the ups and downs of teenage life.

What is the solution?  I don't have the answers for every person but I do have the knowledge of 18 years of staying married.  My parents didn't get along much of my teenage years but they did not even consider divorce as an option.  I made a commitment when I was a teenager to make an effort to find the right person, God's person, and then to love them unconditionally.

At first glance, unconditional love is a grand idea, but practically speaking, we know nothing of unconditional love.  Outside of God’s revelation we would never know what “love” is all about!  I Cor 13 (the love chapter in the Bible) tells us, for instance, that love keeps no record of wrongs, it never fails.  In most marriages, the couple keeps a record of the time they did this or that and they never forget, so eventually the marriage loses real life.  Unforgiveness sets in and here we go, DIVORCE becomes the only option!

Keeping a record of all the wrongs that our wife or husband does is against the principal of the love God showed us in the person of Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us that Jesus died for us while we were still sinners.  A perfect God who knew nothing about sinning even in His heart attitudes gave His life that a sinner could find forgiveness in Him. 

What if every married couple based their marriage on the principle of "unconditional love"?  Most marriage vows include the words, "for better or worse"  because divorce became very prevalent in the previous generation, married couples do not understand how to keep these kinds of vows because they have never seen it modeled by their parents.

Why?  They have not accepted Christ's love for them as sinners and they haven’t married someone that God has brought their way.  They married their choice, not God’s choice!  Additionally they haven’t received God’s forgiveness into their hearts and allowed God’s love in them to work out toward other people.  In other words, they really don't think they are sinners so they don't think Jesus had to die for them.  They never receive God’s love for them so they can’t show God’s love to their spouse.  To think that we don’t need God’s love is a bunch of crap, my friends!  We don’t know anything about love outside of God’s love for us.

The Word of God says, "my people perish for a lack of knowledge"  They do not know how to relate to God so they have no idea how to relate to each other!  This is the problem with our community in Pilot Mountain.  We remember all sins committed against us and recount them over and over in our mind.  Then we shun the person who screwed us over and whoa baby we have a divorce of friendship and romance.

We must learn how to love like God, in order to really love another especially if you have yet to see firsthand a positive example of true love in your home!  Many of you who are suffering with the cycle of broken relationships are very dear to me.  I pray for your happiness, but you will not find it in trying over and over again with a "new relationship". 

You must first discover God’s love for you and receive His Love into your heart then you can have a lasting relationship in His time!  It is possible, don't give up!  You must look to your Father in Heaven and ask Him to guide you to the right people.  Study His Love.  Get help and guidance from a person who you trust that knows God and walks with Him.  Someone who you believe has a good marriage and has learned how to stay married.

I want so desperately for the younger generation to find happiness in marriage.  You will not find happiness going from person to person, divorce to divorce!  You must learn how to resolve conflict by going to the cross and realizing your own sins deserved the punishment that Jesus took for you.  Once you do find that special someone and they sin against you, then, you can really tell the person you are married to that you that you forgive them and mean it! 

Some of you might remember when I said at one of the last shows at Livin Lattes that dating is a waste of time. All the relational breakups that happen when you date in your teens especially if you have never seen with your own eyes a positive example of marriage will make your chances of finding the person God wants for you that much harder.  Get to know people in group settings, like at a Livin Lattes show, in a family like atmosphere where you really can judge the person you like with a more critical eye and have the help of your true friends as to whether or not you would make a good couple!